Fringilla bengalus Linnaeus, 1766.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Cordon-bleu, red-cheeked blue waxbill; French: Cordonbleu а joues rouges; German: Schmetterlingsastrild; Spanish: Coliazul Bengalн.
4.9–5.1 in (12.5–13 cm). Sexually dimorphic; male has a red spot on cheeks, a pink bill, light brown or pink-brown legs; female lacks red spots on cheeks, feathers are paler than for the male. Juveniles lack blue on flanks and have a darker bill.
Southern Mauritania, east to Ethiopia, south to northern Zambia. An introduced population exists in Hawaii.
Occurs in grassland, savanna, thorn scrub, dry woodland, forest edges and clearings, gardens and villages, roadsides, and cultivated areas.
Found in pairs or small flocks during the breeding season. Otherwise, this species can gather in large sometimes mixedspecies flocks. The call is a “tsee-tsee-tsee.” The song is a “te tchee-wa-tcheee” or a “ssee-deedelee-deedelee-ssee-see.”
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds on the ground on a variety of seeds and insects, including termites which are occasionally caught in flight.
Uses old Ploceus weaver nests or builds its own round nest of grass several meters off the ground. Three to six white eggs are incubated for 11 days.
CITES: Appendix III. Not considered threatened by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
This species becomes accustomed to humans and can be found in villages and gardens. It is also a commonly kept and bred aviary bird.
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